Shock Your Body. There is a common theme going on in the exercise world right now called “Muscle Confusion.” The idea is to challenge your body each and every session with a different combination of movements, so you avoid plateaus. Although, “Muscle Confusion” is a common term used today, it has been practiced by body builders for decades to bring about change in one’s physique.
My boot camp programs are also designed to shock your body each session. Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays are total body workouts. Tuesdays and Thursdays are core-cardio recovery days. Each total body session we perform 7 functional movement patterns: a push, pull, squat, lunge, rotation, bend & lift movements and a cardio/agility exercise. Although we typically perform the 7 basic movement patterns each sessions, I do the same program about every 6 months given the endless exercises that can be done for each movement pattern.
Here is an example of pulling movements that you can do for the pull pattern: pull-ups-close grip, reverse grip, wide grip, towel, jumping, partner, pulldowns- reverse grip, neutral grip, wide grip, bent over rows with dumbbells, barbell, pulley, sandbag, TRX- Rows with multiple hand position, one arm row, and one arm rows with rotation. There are thousands more I can list just for pulling, but you would be very bored.The take home message is there are a variety of exercises that can be done and should be done to shock the body.
If you have been doing the same exercise program for a while (more than a week) and wondering why you are bored and not achieving your results, you must change things up.
How about shocking your body with a change in your nutrition also? There are more & more nutrition related programs talking about this concept. For years, many have advocated a cheat day- you eat anything you want on that given day. There are programs that advocate fasting once a week and others that have scheduled days for eating according to their plan, followed by cheat days.
I have not followed any of the above programs to know if they work or not, but I do believe that it is very important to mix things up. I generally do a vegetarian day once a week, two detox’s per year and a short fast sometime during the year to mix things up.
Many people eat the same foods every day and have for years. This is potentially problematic because eating the same foods often leads to food allergies (headaches, gas, bloating, constipation, asthma, sinus issues, heartburn, pain, etc.), food intolerances (digestive complaints) and nutrient deficiencies.
There is a concept called food rotation that allows you to reduce the likelihood of allergies, food intolerances and maximize your nutrients. I will give you an example with animal proteins:
• Day 1- Poultry (Chicken, Turkey, Eggs, Game Hen, etc.)
• Day 2- Fish (Salmon, Tuna, etc.)
• Day 3- Beef
• Day 4- Lamb
I will touch on this more in future posts, but for now avoid eating chicken every day as your protein source (when people go “healthy” for some reason they tend to eat chicken every day). There are many other great protein sources out there and each has its own benefits. Ideally, the food rotation principle should apply to other foods as well: beans, fruits, veggies, oils, nuts & seeds.
Lastly, I believe it is okay for most people to shock the body once in a while and eat foods that are considered toxic (those with disease states or on pharmaceuticals may not fare well). Healthy bodies are fairly resilient.
I also think the occasional over-consumption of calories is also fine given we have been doing it for millions of years. Back in the old days our ancestors often went without food for days and on the good days, when food was abundant, calorie consumption was higher.
Brien Shamp brings you 22 years of experience as a Body Transformation Expert, Personal Trainer, Nutrition & Lifestyle Coach, Massage Therapist, Strength Coach for College & Pro Athletes and Reiki Practitioner. In 2011 he was nominated one of the top ten trainers in the country. Brien has a degree in Biomechanics from UC Davis and extensive graduate studies in Exercise Physiology from SF State. Brien won first place in the Met-Rx World’s Best Personal Trainer Contest in 1999 and was nominated Best in the Bay by KRON 4 for Weight Loss in 2009. He is an active author in Parenting on the Peninsula, Ms. Fitness Magazine and his FREE Blog with thousands of subscribers at www.BrienShamp.com